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Striding Sphinx

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Special Exhibitions, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
Unlike images of the lion at rest, a striding sphinx represented protective aggression. The snakelike tail and extended legs of this sphinx identify him as the god Tutu. The falcon wings adorning his flanks place the sphinx in the solar sphere, while the two cobras on his sides support Tutu’s power against evil.

This figure most likely was attached to a sacred boat used in temple rituals. It was meant to protect the boat and the divine statue contained inside.
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 945-712 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 22 to Dynasty 24
    PERIOD Third Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 5 1/2 x 1 5/8 x 5 in. (14 x 4.1 x 12.7 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Striding Sphinx, 945-712 B.C.E. Bronze, 5 1/2 x 1 5/8 x 5 in. (14 x 4.1 x 12.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 61.20. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE 3/4 front, 61.20_threequarter_front_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION The king as sphinx, in bronze, standing on standard, flanked by two uraeus serpents. Sphinx is of slender greyhound type with human head, pierced ears, bearded and wearing lappet wig. Tail curved in great loop over back; originally fitted with headdress, now lost. Remains of gilding on apron. Wings incised on body, a rare detail in the New Kingdom. Condition: Good. Repairs on both hind legs. Uncertain if tail is original. Remains of gilding and perhaps of black-coating on bronze. Deep gash on right cheek.
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